Bees are a natural fit
for living in the city.
It might seem surprising at first, but the urban setting is ideal for honeybees for a number of reasons:
They're shielded from many pesticides and predators
Unfortunately, large agricultural fields can be a danger zone for bees as chemical treatments to control crop pests also affect our bees.
There is a wide variety of food sources
Unfortunately, in rural settings large fields of a single crop can mean a bonanza for the bees one week, and then almost flowers the next week. Monocultures offer a 'feast or famine' situation which isn't great for the bees.
The season can be longer
Bees gain more days for pollinating due to the warmth and wind protection that cities provide.
Really, this is nothing new. Cultures all the way back to ancient Rome (and probably before!) have kept bees in their cities as a natural part of their lives. It's a relatively recent development that we have divided agriculture and the city. And in recent years, there's been a renewed interest in urban agriculture throughout Europe and North America.
The honeybee is particularly fascinating because of the nature of colony life and the ease with which they integrate into the city setting.
Through our Urban Pollination Project, you can invest in protecting the honeybee without knowing a lot, or anything, about beekeeping. This program is meant to be a turn-key operation in which we install and maintain the hive(s) and deliver the ultra local honey to you at the end of the season. We want to raise awareness of the plight of the bee and help others that live in the city (like us!) learn about things they can do to help. There shouldn't be a disconnect between people and their food, or between the city and agriculture.
Our approach to beekeeping is a hands-on and time intensive approach. This is a labour of love and the result is happy, healthy hives and great tasting honey.
The honeybee population is on the decline globally.
Beeproject is committed to raising awareness of the plight of the honeybee and use our passion for beekeeping to teach others about the integral role that pollinators play in our food system and food security. Nearly 1/3 of our food is dependant on pollinators like the honey bee, including many fruits and vegetables!
We make efforts to use sustainable beekeeping methods.
For Beeproject, this means that we try to use organic techniques of hive management wherever possible. Antibiotics are avoided and we monitor for disease of pests prior to treating as opposed to prophylactically applying treatments. These steps are taken to avoid the development of treatment resistant pests and diseases and to keep the hive’s exposure to chemical treatments down. We believe that strong genetics and integrated pest management is integral to the goal of sustainably keeping bees.
Honey bees thrive in the urban setting.
A variety of flowers are plentiful in the early spring and the bloom continues all the way through summer. This offers good nutrition to the hives. The city also offers warmer temperatures and superior wind protection than found in rural areas. These factors increase the amount of time the bees can forage for nectar. Finally, we believe the bees are exposed to less pesticides in the city than they would be in agricultural areas. So yes, the bees love the city!